A U.K. man drank himself to death after developing a habit of consuming three liters of Coca-Cola a day, a coroner ruled Tuesday at an inquest.
Paul Inman, of West Yorkshire, drank so much Coke that his lungs swelled to four times their natural weight, killing the 30-year-old in his sleep in March 2012. The exact cause of death was released at an inquest this week.
Inman, who suffered from Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, lived at an assisted living facility. His illness drove him into unhealthy habitual behaviors, such as the excessive soda drinking and sometimes smoking up to 20 cigarettes an hour.
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"I've said all this time the cause of it was he drank excessively
, absolutely excessively," Inman's mother told The Telegraph. "He had done since he was 10 years old. We used to say he had a self-destruct button."
Inman isn't the first person to die from a Coca-Cola addiction. A coroner similarly ruled earlier this year that Natasha Harris, a 30-year-old mother of eight from New Zealand, died in 2010 from a fatal heart attack brought on by her 10-liter-a-day soda habit.
"Natasha Harris died of cardiac arrhythmia,"
the coroner's report said. "On the balance of probabilities it is more likely than not that the drinking of very large quantities of Coke was a substantial factor that contributed to the development of metabolic imbalances, which gave rise to the arrhythmia."
Coca-Cola released a statement disputing the report.
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"The coroner acknowledged that he could not be certain what caused Ms. Harris' heart attack," the release said. "Therefore we are disappointed that the coroner has chosen to focus on the combination of Ms. Harris' excessive consumption of Coca-Cola, together with other health and lifestyle factors, as the probable cause of her death. This is contrary to the evidence that showed the experts could not agree on the most likely cause."
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